It doesn’t particularly bother me that John Hagee thinks that “Hitler was fulfilling God’s Will.” That’s pretty conventional theology, really; if you believe in an omnipotent God, you’re sort of stuck with believing that everything is fulfilling God’s will. What does bother me is Hagee’s smug certainty that he knows what God’s will is.
I would talk about Hagee’s (and Biblical “literalists” in general) appalling Biblical interpretational practices, but I don’t have the heart right now.
Hagee is certainly not an anti-Semite, not in the classic sense of Hitler or Mel Gibson. But were I Jewish I don’t think I’d be too quick to cozy up to him. He is a staunch supporter of Israel, but not because he’s particularly interested in a Jewish homeland per se, or because Israel is a lone beacon of democracy and enlightenment values in an unstable region, or anything like that. He supports Israel because he is a Dispensational Premillennialist, who thinks that the return of the Jews to the promised land is a necessary condition for Armageddon, the Rapture, the Tribulations, and the subsequent thousand-year reign of Christ on Earth.
And as far as Hagee’s attitude towards the Jewish people themselves, well, he certainly doesn’t think that they’re Them As Kilt Our Lord or anything; as far as he’s concerned God’s cool with them. But eventually they’re going to have to accept Jesus as their Personal Lord and Savior if they want to avoid spending eternity in a lake of boiling blood, or whatever God Hagee has in store for the damned.
I suppose I’m pleased that John McCain has repudiated Hagee, although it’s not like he did it for the right reasons. [Well of course he didn’t; as a politician the only reason he does anything of the sort is because of what he thinks it will do to his chances in the election.] But what’s up with Joe Lieberman? People of Connecticut, aren’t you ashamed?
Another reason to despise Hagee—I’m sure there are many—is his association with the televangelical “prosperity gospel“: the doctrine that God wants you, the faithful, to prosper materially, if only you prove your faith by, oh, sending money to John Hagee. How any thinking person can reconcile such an abomination of a doctrine with anything in the New Testament, and with most of the Old, is beyond me.
Important note: throughout this post I’ve been using phrases like “Hagee thinks” in a figurative sense. I do not know what Hagee thinks. I am pretty sure I don’t want to know what Hagee thinks. I do not have any reason to think that he has sufficient integrity for us to assume that what he says to reflect in any meaningful way what he thinks.